If Virgin America does ever get off the ground, the inflight entertainment system will definitely be pretty cool. I had heard the descriptions, but it doesn’t really come to life until you see it in action. This nearly 5 minute video appears to be made for more of a tech audience, but it gives you some insight into what’s unique about it.
I have to say that there are two things I really like about the system. First is that when you’re watching a movie, you can go to other menus and look at other parts of the system and the movie will be minimized in the corner. On most systems today you have to go away from the movie to do something else, but here you can continue to watch it in the corner.
The other cool thing is the food ordering process. You find the food and drink you want, swipe your credit card, and the flight attendant brings it to you. It definitely speeds up the process of food delivery and keeps the flight attendants from standing in the aisle to process payments.
Of course, you won’t see this on Virgin America unless they actually get approval to fly. So where are they now? Well, a bunch of airlines jointly filed asking the DOT to suspend the proceedings for approval. The DOT told them to shove it. Virgin America filed the required paperwork on January 30 which started a 14 day clock for responses to be filed. So, on February 13, that period ends and we should hear something new around that time.
This thing seems like it could go on forever, but now there’s word that if it doesn’t get approval in 6 months, the investors may pull their money out. I’m sure the other US airlines are going to do whatever they can to extend this process out that far. As I’ve been saying all along, the DOT is really what matters here. All eyes should be focused on them right now.